In the beginning…
Two years ago I began my natural hair journey. At the time, I wasn’t sure what I would gain from this experience, if anything. I was just at a time in my life where I needed a change. I’ve always considered myself to be authentic. My feelings, my reactions, my emotions, my ideas, all authentic. I navigate my mind through honesty and truth. I found myself criticizing myself, discovering that everything on the outside did not match what was on the inside. How many of us live our lives in internal captivity? I needed a change and I wanted to be free.
Everyday we as people want others to accept us for who we “truly” are. I don't think we accept ourselves for who we “truly” are. Being free, meant challenging myself to be transparent and raw in front of those who may not accept my new representation. I believe this to be my first turn on my journey. After we have accepted ourselves, we have to accept that we may not be accepted. I found myself very much like Viola Davis in “How to get Away with Murder” when she stripped her face of make-up, wig, and all. She presented herself raw to the entire world. I praise her for her courage and strength.
I remember shortly after doing my first twist out. I was so proud of myself. Through all of my online research and big natural hair product purchases, I did it! I took so many selfies, grinning from ear to ear. My new do was pretty well received through social media. I was content. I was happy. Then there came the test. My boyfriend’s children’s mother, a Caucasian blonde, decided to make an attempt at my new found happy. She posted a meme that was at best, cruel. It made mention of black girls who wear their hair natural. Seeing that I knew I was the butt of her joke, her actions only made me go harder. Instead of feeling defeated, I felt victorious. I must have been doing something right.
Here I am, two years later. My hair is strong, healthy, and might I add inches and inches longer than it was. My confidence has grown as well. It is stronger, healthier, and able to withstand more criticism. For those of you who are just starting your natural hair journey, my advice is this: Allow your personality to grow with you hair. For some you will be cut deep, you will lose some pieces, others will just break off for no apparent reason. You will try this style and try another. Styles and products that work great for other people, just wont work for you. Often you will be questioned and confronted about your choice to embrace this side of you. Use these moments as opportunities to define, not defend, your journey. Give voice to your mane!